'Yet may I not even speak of it? For you seem ever to think only of its power in the hands of the Enemy: of its evil uses not of its good. The world is changing, you say. Minas Tirith will fall, if the Ring lasts. But why? Certainly, if the Ring were with the Enemy. But why, if it were with us? ' - Boromir, Fellowship of the Ring
The Art of Dunking
After the news broke about the apparent accident on the set of the upcoming movie Rust, Twitter went into a frenzy. The initial reaction I saw was horror, sadness over the careless loss of life, and offers of prayer and support for the families of the woman killed and the man injured, but, that lasted for maybe a second.
Alec Baldwin is a notoriously vicious Twitter user and I could fill this blog up with examples. Many of us battle the temptation to “dunk” on our ideological opponents (a temptation I’ve given in to more than I am proud of, unfortunately), but Baldwin has turned it into a resume enhancement. If a tragedy, accident, or mistake occurs to someone to the ideological right of him, he will not hesitate to dunk on them.
I knew as soon as the story broke about Baldwin allegedly accidentally killing someone with a revolver that many who’ve been on the receiving end of his wrath were not going to hold back. And many didn’t. Thankfully, a few opponents expressed condolences while also wondering if Baldwin hadn’t been so anti-gun if he would have been better trained with the safety procedures of gun? Others dug through example after example of Baldwin reveling and proceeded to do the same back to him. When called out on using those tactics, the people I saw said something to the effect of “all’s fair in love and war.”
But is it?
The Ring of Power
In the above tweet, Christian is pointing out that many are justifying their use of tactics that they would normally reject since their opponents used those tactics first. If we’re in a battle, we can’t fight under different rules and expect results. Christian is sarcastically referencing the struggle of Boromir in Lord of the Rings who wanted to use the Ring of Power to destroy the enemy. Boromir wrestles with this “wisdom” throughout the book until the end of Fellowship where it consumed him and he tried to forcibly take the ring. Ironically, becoming a lesser dark lord in order to defeat the dark lord.
I see this same struggle in those who look at the Alec Baldwin situation and justify dunking on him because of how terribly he’s acted in the past. Unfortunately, many professing Christians have also participated. This is weird since Jesus explicitly said to “pray for those who persecute you” and the book of Proverbs says to “not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.”
The temptation to wield this power is strong. Even overriding a redeemed heart! But, we must think like Frodo and heed the warning of using the tactic or weapon of the enemy against the enemy:
'And it would seem like wisdom but for the warning of my heart…Against delay. Against the way that seems easier. Against refusal of the burden that is laid on me. Against — well, if it must be said, against trust in the strength and truth of Men.'